Why Should I Hire a Lawyer in my Divorce Or The Dangers of Being Your Own Lawyer

Remember this famous quote from Abe Lincoln:
“A man who represents himself has a fool for a client.”

Family-Law-AttorneyEach year, I am hired to represent many clients who started out in their Divorce or Child Custody cases, acting as their own lawyers. Because these clients learned that there is no substitute for having an experienced lawyer fight for you and your children, they end up spending a lot of money to correct a situation that could have been handled the proper way to begin with, for a lot less money. It is true that when mistakes occur in a divorce or custody case, those mistakes usually cost a lot of money.

There are hundreds of Websites that offer legal forms for couples about to go through a divorce. You need to understand that by providing you with forms you are not going to receive any legal advice. In fact, you should be told when you buy legal forms, that no legal advice can be given. If a paralegal or provider of forms does give you advice, its usually a violation of the law called The Unauthorized Practice of Law. That’s a crime in most states!

Throughout my career, I have never seen anyone benefit from a “Do It Yourself Divorce” kit. There are countless rights and obligations involved in any divorce that will have a long term impact on both parties. Forms by themselves do not and can not explain to you the law or what the impact will be for you, your children or the assets and debts that are affected in a divorce. Simply put, there is absolutely no substitute for receiving the advice of a highly skilled and competent lawyer.

Acting as your own lawyer into any Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody or other similar case without a lawyer is like walking onto a mine field in total darkness: you have no idea if your next step may be your last. Why would you risk that?

I offer every potential client the opportunity to schedule a free initial consultation*. My retainers are extremely reasonable and are tailored for each client. Service members of the U.S. Military and their dependents are eligible for special military rates. There is no excuse for not having a lawyer, who is effective and practices Family/Domestic Relations Law on a full time basis.

Benefits of Having a Lawyer

The outcome of any Divorce or Child Custody case has many risks. There are no certainties in life and in many cases, only a judge can resolve some of the most contested disputes. No matter if your case is contested or uncontested, you deserve to have all of the facts and to learn how the law will help you reach your goal.

Assuming you hire a well qualified Family Law Attorney, here are some of the basis reasons why you should have a Lawyer on your side:

  1. Your Lawyer will go to Court with you, give you advice and prepare with you for all court hearings and mediation sessions;
  2. Your Lawyer will ask the right questions of you and your spouse in the courtroom;
  3. Obtain the knowledge from the statutes, case law and legal authority that concern the issues in your case;
  4. Going to court and appearing before a judge is “Nerve wracking.” Do you have the kind of courtroom experience to make an effective presentation of your case, making winning arguments, effective cross examination of witnesses and offering evidence, etc.;
  5. What are the pros and cons on any given issue or “When to fold and when to hold em;”
  6. The planning and implementation of strategies or goals for a desired outcome that is based on the years of courtroom experience from an experienced lawyer;
  7. The elimination of costly mistakes and errors;
  8. The counsel, advice and coaching only a highly qualified Family Law Attorney can provide;

In summary, let me say that there are many more reasons why the hiring of an attorney is so much more beneficial than trying to represent yourself. I would hope you use good judgment, not only to protect you and your future, but to protect the future of your children. Fathers, Mothers, Grandparents and others all have a stake in the outcome of these emotional and sometimes devastating cases. Don’t you deserve to have a highly qualified lawyer on your side.


Call Gordon N. Shayne at 719-442-6649 for a


*for those individuals interested in retaining legal counsel and who have the financial means to hire an attorney